San Francisco is known for many things: the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, Golden Gate Park, Lombard Street—otherwise known as the crookedest street in the world (although it’s actually the second crookedest!)—lots and lots of hills, and of course, cable cars! The cable car to San Francisco is like peanut butter to jelly—they just go together, right? Millions of tourists visit San Francisco every year for a chance to ride on a cable car, but some get to witness something even more unique: the annual Cable Car Bell Ringing Contest! It’s been a San Francisco tradition for fifty-four years, where the best cable car operators compete to see who will be named World Champion Cable Car Ringer each year. Sadly though, this year’s Cable Car Bell Ringing Contest was canceled. Why? Recently, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) decided to stop cable car services during a specific period of time because there weren’t enough riders. As a result, cable car operators haven’t been working as many hours and therefore aren’t making as much money. No fair, say the operators! To protest this cut in services, they decided to boycott the annual contest. While SFMTA and cable car operators work out their grievances, SFMTA is still hoping to include the Cable Car Bell Ringing Contest in their annual Muni Heritage event happening in September. Ding! Ding!
August 3, 2018